Photo: (L to R) Diane Durrence – Deputy Chief Nurse for Nurse Protocols, Department of District and County Operations – Department of Public Health (DPH), Rose Bishop – District Perinatal Services Manager – Cobb & Douglas Public Health, Carole Jakeway – Chief Nurse for Nurse Protocols, Department of District and County Operations – DPH.
Rose Bishop, R.N., District Perinatal Services Manager with Cobb & Douglas Public Health, was awarded the prestigious 2016 State of Georgia Public Health Nursing Practice Excellence Award at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on May 6. The annual award recognizes nurses for their leadership, contributions and commitment to public health nursing.
Rose and her staff effectively collaborate with local hospitals, obstetrician offices, pregnancy centers and social service agencies around the issue of perinatal health. Through this collaboration, a system is in place that ensures women do not miss out on opportunities for prenatal care. No matter where a pregnant woman may go for a pregnancy test or other services, they are all referred to the health department for screening and assessment. This helps all women have the best opportunity to get into care quickly and then have access to social services, education classes, healthy foods, emergency care, prescriptions and regular prenatal checkups through local partners.
In FY 2015, the Perinatal Case Management Program had a severe dip in the number of women accessing services through public health. The dip was believed to be due to the easy access of applying for Medicaid online and no longer needing a pregnancy test to apply. When women were applying for Medicaid online, it was taking months for their regular Medicaid card to be sent to them. Services were not accessible during this time.
Rose developed marketing materials and visited all the providers in town who provide services to pregnant women. She also communicated with directors in the Commissioner’s Office at the Georgia Department of Public Health and received help in working with the Department of Family and Children’s Services and the Department of Community Health so changes would be made to the State websites. There is now information on the websites like COMPASS that directs pregnant women to their local health department for fast service in applying for Medicaid.
Through these efforts, the census has gone up substantially from less than 100 clients/month to 225+/month. In the beginning of this process, the state directors had no ideas the changes to the Medicaid application process had impacted women’s access to care. Through Rose’s persistence, the proper changes were made and women are receiving the services they need once again.
For more information about the Perinatal Case Management Program, visit cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org or call 770-514-2300.